Words by Cassandra Laffey
With such an enticing backdrop of powder white sands, crystal-clear waters and lush foliage, Thailand’s beach areas and islands along the Andaman Sea provide endless opportunities to escape the everyday on a relaxing getaway. While luxury resorts and 5-star hotels are studded all along the west coast and islands of Thailand, there are some properties that elevate the experience, complementing the stunning natural attributes with intuitive service, thoughtful touches and an ecological approach. Here are three southern Thailand resorts to consider for the ultimate luxury getaway.
The Shore at Kathathani
Situated on Kata Noi beach on the island of Phuket, The Shore at Katathani is a study in understated elegance and a welcome oasis from the touts and bustle of Patong Beach. Opt for a Seaview Pool Villa, which includes your own personal infinity pool – simply step off your balcony to luxuriate in the glassy water above Kata Noi beach. The bliss doesn’t end there. With just 48 pool villas nestled into the verdant hillside at the far end of the beach and attentive service, you will feel like the only guests there. A high tea of fresh fruit and sashimi enjoyed in your private dining balcony will whet your appetite for more indulgence. Watch the sun melt into the horizon over the Andaman Sea from your open-plan villa and be lulled to sleep by the rolling waves below. Pure bliss.
Looking for more exotic getaway inspriation?
With an enviable position on the edge of Krabi Marine National Park, Rayavadee Krabi reveals 96 two-storey pavilion villas dotted amid lush tropical foliage along the Phra Nang peninsula. Blending seamlessly with the craggy limestone cliffs and wild tropical setting that Krabi is known for, Rayavadee uses the curious rock formations to its advantage with The Grotto, a dining experience on the sand within an ancient cave. If you can tear yourself away from the freeform pool overlooking Railay Beach or the Spa offering ancient Thai healing treatments, your perfectly appointed villa will spoil you for life with the easy transition from luxury abode to soft sand underfoot.
Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp
Thailand’s first luxury tented camps, bringing the African safari experience to the Thai tropical rainforest environment, are located within Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand. Consisting of The Rainforest Camp, 20 floating tented camps on Cheow Larn Lake, and The Elephant Camp, 35 customised tents in the rainforest, expect a glamping eco experience with a difference. The area itself is rich in indigenous flora and fauna, such as wild elephants, gibbons, tapirs, sun bears and clouded leopards, but what really sets Elephant Hills apart is the 12 rescue elephants.
Bred in captivity and trained to work in logging and tourism industries, these Asian elephants cannot be reintroduced into a wild habitat. The conservation camp ensures a high quality of life for these animals with natural environmental stimulation, wide roaming and social group living to meet the elephants’ physical and mental needs. Guests of Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp are offered an interactive, yet respectful encounter with these magnificent creatures – truly to be one of the highlights of your luxury eco stay here.